Terry and Ginette held their first Big Lunch in 2013, it was an afternoon tea for all their neighbours in Pebble Close, Avon Lane and Dune View, in Westward Ho, and they haven't stopped since!
Terry and Ginette's Big Lunch history
The success of their first Big Lunch prompted them to ‘go big in the Ho!’ for 2014 and, with the support of local businesses and donations, their Big Lunch grew to a full scale community event for over 100 neighbours. They sold raffle tickets and raised money for local charities. Then they decided that once a year wasn't enough so set up a Big Lunch Community Christmas Coffee Morning which has been hosted in the local Kingsley Hall each Christmas since 2017.
Terry and Ginette were even nominated for a Big Lunch award for their continued efforts, and Terry travelled to Clarence House to meet the Patron of the Big Lunch, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall to receive the award.
The Big Virtual Lunch 2020
Things are obviously a bit different this year, and Terry and Ginette had parked their Big Lunch plans until they heard Big Lunch ambassador Jo Brand on the BBC's One Show encouraging neighbours to get involved with The Big Virtual Lunch.
Pebble Close friends and neighbours are now being invited to a ‘socially distanced’ Big Lunch afternoon tea on 6 June. Weather permitting, everyone will gather on their driveways to eat, drink and catch up. The response has been great. Terry said, “Neighbours were very enthusiastic and positive. It gives us the opportunity to come together in celebration of what we have, a great community, and gives us something to look forward to in these difficult times.”
Plans are already in motion to get the wider community involved, with Ginette and Terry taking to social media to encourage others to take up The Big Virtual Lunch in their neighbourhoods.
Ginette said, “As a close knit community, Pebble Close residents will do a ‘bring your own’ afternoon tea and chat. As quite a lot are isolating due to age and health, it’s good for everyone’s mental health to get together.”
The Big Virtual lunch impact
Terry said, “The majority of residents in the Close are elderly and several have long-term restrictive health problems so have been in social isolation throughout the lockdown. The Big Lunch Afternoon Tea will give us the opportunity to spend time together whilst respecting the social distancing rules, to check out that people are OK and to celebrate our community and each other together.”
Ginette said, “This should build upon an already close knit community and confirm to friends and neighbours that there is support available in whatever way is needed.”